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Thread: So lost, need help please.

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    #1

    Confused So lost, need help please.

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    Hello, I am in desperate need of help in the "dog training" area. DH and I recently adopted a Toy Australian Shepherd. When we got him, the woman we adopted him from told us that he came from a large litter and that she had very little time to socialize him...basically DH and I were the first human contact he has ever had (and he was already 6 months old) . But DH was convinced he was up for the challenge. We had just been relocated so we didn't have anyone over when we first got the dog because...well...we did not have friends yet! Well, we started having people over recently and our dog would hide every time. Recently he started to come out of his crate and I would ask the "stranger" to offer a piece of bacon or something as a reward of sorts. We have had people to the house maybe 4 times. Now I noticed that the puppy started to act shy around DH and I. Here is where the huge problem comes in, when I pick him up from his corner or his crate, he yelps and nips at me. I know this is not because of pain because I can pick him up when he is in a more "uncomfortable" location (like the middle of the room) and no yelps. It seems to be territorial. I have talked to DH about going in for obedience training but he "would rather get rid of the dog before paying for someone to work with it" he is also determined that he can fix it but I am not so sure. That being said, he has had several dogs and this one is my first. I am worried that if we don't get this issue fixed, then DH will want to get rid of the dog . How do I fix this behavior? Is it shock from having too many new people over too soon?

    PS. I guess it is worth noting that DH and I left him at a kennel for Christmas leave. Maybe he is holding a grudge?
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    First off, what is a toy Australian Shepherd? is just a small Aussie or does it have some toy mix? I ask because Aussies are SUPER smart and thrive off learning, they can be very much a PITA if they don't have something to focus on. Just be prepared for them to be destructive if you don't harness that energy into positive actions.

    Is he nipping at you when you are pulling him out of his crate when people are around? Or just in general? If he is trying to get away from people, don't force him to come out...leave him alone. If it is in general, I am not very nice when it comes to mean nipping. I grab the muzzle close their mouth look them the eye and say a very stern "NO!" Biting should never be tolerated in any form.

    First you need to take about 5 steps back. Your dog needs to trust you and you and DH need to build his confidence back up. Have him sit in your lap with her favorite toy/treat, speak very quietly and calmly. After he is confident around you and trusts you and DH. THEN invite people over. One, MAYBE two people. Don't plan on having any crazy parties of loud music. Plan on these get togethers to be calm and laid back. Have his crate in an area of the house that he can escape to...let him go and don't force him to be out more than necessary. You may only have him out for 1 minute in the beginning and then let him go to his happy place. You may try and have him out on a leash when people start arriving, have him take a treat and then let him go away. Ideally you would be obedience training him at the same time, the training will give him confidence. Hopefully, the goal would be that you can have him sit next to you while you have friends over. If you take it slow and don't overload him with people you will be able to get there. Some of my client dogs took well over 6 months to be able to walk around the dog show without cowarding, just go SLOW.

    Training classes are not only good for learning how to properly train your dog, but also socialization. I'd look into a local kennel clubs for classes. They are relatively cheaper than say petsmart and if money is an issue a lot of times they will offer discount/free classes if you help set up before class or take down after class.

    I also want to add, your DH needs to lose the attitude that animals are disposable. You don't get rid of a dog because they are hard to train. PERIOD. You adopted that dog, you need to provide a home to him for the rest of his life. Getting rid of animals should not be an option that ever passes through your head. I'm going to be 100% honest, I am disgusted that mentality.
  3. Regular Member
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    Yes, a toy Australian Shepherd is just a bitty version of an Aussie.
    I do not force him to come out when people are over and rarely take him out of his crate other than to clean it (I read somewhere that it was supposed to be their little area for safety). Most of my problem is when I move him from his corner to put him to bed/crate (we have a pet bed for him in the living room where he likes to stay). I thought the dog was comfortable with me (when DH and I got back from leave the little guy followed me everywhere) he is not so close to DH because he is often at work while I do online classes at home so I am with him 24/7. (He is actually sleeping on my lap as I type).
    We also are quite anti social ourselves and have a max of 3 people over at a time. Though it might not seem like much to me, I can understand that it could be overwhelming for him.
    I am glad you mentioned kennel clubs for training, I would have thought they would be more expensive.
    As far as DH and his attitude...I feel the same way that you do. Growing up, my family never got rid of an animal based on attitude, we worked with them and accepted that. I think that is why this generally small problem is making me so upset. I could not imagine getting rid of this guy.
    Thank you so much for your input, I really appreciate it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Amanduh View Post
    First off, what is a toy Australian Shepherd? is just a small Aussie or does it have some toy mix? I ask because Aussies are SUPER smart and thrive off learning, they can be very much a PITA if they don't have something to focus on. Just be prepared for them to be destructive if you don't harness that energy into positive actions.

    Is he nipping at you when you are pulling him out of his crate when people are around? Or just in general? If he is trying to get away from people, don't force him to come out...leave him alone. If it is in general, I am not very nice when it comes to mean nipping. I grab the muzzle close their mouth look them the eye and say a very stern "NO!" Biting should never be tolerated in any form.

    First you need to take about 5 steps back. Your dog needs to trust you and you and DH need to build his confidence back up. Have him sit in your lap with her favorite toy/treat, speak very quietly and calmly. After he is confident around you and trusts you and DH. THEN invite people over. One, MAYBE two people. Don't plan on having any crazy parties of loud music. Plan on these get togethers to be calm and laid back. Have his crate in an area of the house that he can escape to...let him go and don't force him to be out more than necessary. You may only have him out for 1 minute in the beginning and then let him go to his happy place. You may try and have him out on a leash when people start arriving, have him take a treat and then let him go away. Ideally you would be obedience training him at the same time, the training will give him confidence. Hopefully, the goal would be that you can have him sit next to you while you have friends over. If you take it slow and don't overload him with people you will be able to get there. Some of my client dogs took well over 6 months to be able to walk around the dog show without cowarding, just go SLOW.

    Training classes are not only good for learning how to properly train your dog, but also socialization. I'd look into a local kennel clubs for classes. They are relatively cheaper than say petsmart and if money is an issue a lot of times they will offer discount/free classes if you help set up before class or take down after class.

    I also want to add, your DH needs to lose the attitude that animals are disposable. You don't get rid of a dog because they are hard to train. PERIOD. You adopted that dog, you need to provide a home to him for the rest of his life. Getting rid of animals should not be an option that ever passes through your head. I'm going to be 100% honest, I am disgusted that mentality.
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    #4
    I don't have any tried and true advice but I would fight to keep working with the dog. Just think if you give up that dog, it's chances of getting a new home because of the nature of the issue are going to be slim to none and it might get put down. I have shy dogs, and luckily they do not nip, but I've learned that, especially with my husband, it's going to take major time for them to be comfortable and we try not to push it. THere's something he's threatened by. Try and give him the opportunity to come to you (holding out a yummy treat) , instead of you coming to him and grabbing him.
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    #5
    Dogs don't hold grudges. They are not people.

    I'd tell DH flat out that I committed to the dog and would be doing the training he needs.

    In the mean time, if he doesn't like to be picked up out of his crate, don't do it. Forcing these things when you get an extreme reaction just makes them worse.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski

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